Bohemian Rhapsody: Artistes weigh in
Rock music had the velocity and force of a cultural storm, and Queen was in the centre of it. The long-awaited movie about the life and rise of lead singer Freddie Mercury and Queen will finally hit theatres this November. The synopsis of the movie reads, “Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet.” Dandy, outrageous, shocking, eccentric, eclectic, regal and majestic, one never truly runs out of awesome adjectives to describe Queen. The teaser for the upcoming trailer was up on the Internet last week.
The movie is aptly named ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ after the bands’ 1975 single from their album ‘A Night at the Opera.’ It stars Mr. Robot actor, Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, Gwilym Lee as lead guitarist Brian May, Ben Hardy as drummer Roger Taylor and Joseph Mazzello as bassist John Deacon. The cast is also rumored to include Mike Myers from Wayne’s World. The movie is said to traverse from Queen's rise in the 1970s through to their triumphant set at Live Aid in 1985.
“I saw the trailer for the movie and I’ll be lying if said I wasn’t excited. I am a huge fan and Queen is one of my all-time favourite bands. They are the pioneers of rock, and gave rock music more facets by singing in harmony and incorporating it with other genres. After seeing the trailer, I feel Rami Malek has got Freddie’s stage persona down,” says Michael Antony Dias, vocalist and guitarist of Mad Orange Fireworks.
What set Queen apart from their contemporaries? Their musicality, and non-conventional approach to music and stage presence.This paved the way for Queen to be considered “The Live Band.” All four members of the band played an equal role in composing their songs and all of them has at least one or more chart-toppers to their name. The band never stuck to one style and even dabbled significantly with genres of Opera and Western Classical music.
Nikhil Ponnanna, a Bengaluru-based vocalist and long-time fanboy of the band remembers how he heard his first Queen song when he was around the age of 15. Talking about the movie, he says, “The band has a rich history and I hope they don’t completely neglect Freddie’s ties to India, and his Parsi roots.The band was way ahead of its time and was one of those bands that could appeal to the masses.”
Queen’s songs are known for the amount of overdubs and voice-layering they use to create a “choral effect.” Brian May’s phrasings on the guitar, Deacon’s groovy-subtle bass-lines, Roger’s drumming and, Freddie’s voice and piano complemented each other and accentuated the feel in their songs.
Dinkar Nayak, sound engineer and bassist of Suraj Mani and The Tattva Trip says, “To be honest, I started listening to Queen intentionally only two years back. They put up extravagant performances and their musicality is unquestionable. I’m super excited for the movie and I can’t wait to see it. I think the movie will inspire a lot of people to be more original to their art, since most mainstream music is autotuned and computer-manipulated. Queen is best known for their song, Bohemian Rhapsody, I still wonder how they produced that song during the analog years.”
The trailer has sent the film and music worlds into a tizzy. The teaser trailer hit number four on Youtube’s trending catalogue hours after it was released.
Even though the movie has caught the attention of the masses, the studio and screenwriters have been accused of “straight-washing” Freddie’s homosexual life.There have also been rumours that the movie may not include Freddie’s battle with AIDS. The production company started off on a shaky note with Twentieth Century Fox changing the movie's director from Bryan Singer to Dexter Fletcher.
“Everyone knows everything about Freddie and his lifestyle, it’s all over the Internet and there have been documentaries about the band too. I’m looking forward to the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, because it shows actor Malek in Freddie’s shoes and that will be exciting. Freddie Mercury was a born artiste and as an artiste myself, I’m thrilled about the movie,” says Tejas Shankar, the vocalist of city-based band, Lagori.
The movie is set to release worldwide on November 2.